Public relations or PR is definitely key to any successful business, however when you are just starting out or are on a small scale it can be difficult to justify the cost.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can take PR into your own hands and create your own campaigns using some tried and true PR tactics.
It may take more of your time than hiring a PR company, however it could be a good place to start if budgets are an issue. Here is how to begin:
1. Get Organised
If you were to hire a PR agency you would have a team of ninjas helping you plan and coordinate everything along the way, however when you are on the DIY route, you may have to put a little hustle in your step.
Localist is an excellent online calendar platform that is available to PR-DIY’ers for about $19 per month and will help you to manage your campaigns and promotions.
To use the service, sign up for an account and start uploading your events. Once you have done that, the platform gives you intelligent options such as adding the address, rescheduling and repeating certain events. You can also create an online community around your calendar where other staff members or even guests can contribute. Guests can also upload photos and post comments.
The platform is also Google Analytics friendly which means that you can also track conversions for your event.
Keeping track of your events and promotions and planning ahead for important holidays and times of year is a great place to start when it comes to managing your own PR strategy.
2. Connect with Journalists, Bloggers and Reporters
When it comes to building the greater vision for your company you have to tell your story in a notable way, this means you need to reach out to brands and sites that have clout.
HARO or Help a Reporter Out is a great way to share your expertise and get free publicity. This service gives you access to reporters, bloggers and journalists who are looking to develop a portfolio and are sourcing material for their work.
There are many other alternatives to HARO that you can use as well, such as writing your own content and submitting it to popular blogs, news sites or even the local newspaper.
The good thing about HARO however, is that it is free to use and usually the journalists or writers will organise everything you need over email.
Another good strategy is to sign up to MuckRack, which helps brands to search their massive database for media and journalist contacts. This feature also allows you to receive inbox updates, email pitches and social sharing. MuckRack can be pricey however, so definitely test out some of the cheaper alternatives first.
3. Create Your Own Press Release
If you hire a PR company they will most likely craft a pretty top-notch press release that will then be submitted to major news establishments.
When you are on your own however, it may take a little trial and error to perfect your own press release. Sites like PRWeb however, offer a full explanation on how to write a press release and include examples and tutorials. Using their software you can also add a video, keywords and other features to your release to make it stand out.
PRWeb also give you the options of distributing your press release to different media outlets for a nominal fee.
If you need a little more step by step guidance with this you could also test out Handle Your Own PR (HYOPR), which is a platform that gives you all the tools and instructions you need to create press releases, media lists and so on.
4. Guest Blogging
Aside from all the fancy press releases you may also want to consider reaching out to notable bloggers in your field to see if you can write a guest post or cross promote in some way.
To make this process easier, you can also sign up to MyBlogGuest which allows you to reach a large volume of bloggers looking for content. You can also post content directly to their forums for other blog owners to find.
5. Google Alerts
As part of a PR rep’s duties they are in charge of tracking where and when your business is being mentioned. To do this on your own, sign up for Google Alerts which will notify you when you or your brand is mentioned.
Google Alerts also lets you monitor your presence online and what your fans and competitors are saying about you. You can also opt to monitor keywords, phrases and other industry news in order to stay relevant.
6. Social Media
Social media is one of the easiest ways to build your own PR. Focus on building up a strong following and fan base on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter in order to create your own buzz and traction.
Build up popularity by sharing blogs, images, quotes and other people’s content, responding to comments and adding followers.
Establishing a PR presence doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. With a little time and know-how, you can be on your way to generating a strong following for your brand.
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